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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  February 11, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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there were sanctions, et cetera. of course the interest is to keep those from escalating to a military conflict. >> thank you so much. a reminder that you can see hillary clinton and bernie sanders tonight in the pbs news hour democratic presidential debate here on cnn as well as pbs stations at 9:00 eastern. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. debate night. hillary clinton and bernie sanders face off for the first time since new hampshire. sanders is riding high after his stunning victory, but clinton's new strategy is to go right after him. the fireworks just a few hours from now. toned down trump as other republicans step up their harsh rhetoric out there on the campaign trail, is donald trump trying out a kinder, gentler approach? and how long will that last? and un-opposed. kim jong-un's inner circle gets smaller as the north korean dick tarlt executes his army chief.
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is he afraid of a coup? who's left to pose a real threat? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." start with the breaking news. stakes couldn't be higher. you're looking at a picture of the debate hall in milwaukee, wisconsin, where just four hours from now hillary clinton and bernie sanders will have their first showdown since the new hampshire primary. the bbs news hour democratic presidential debate will also air right here on cnn. after being pummeled by sanders in the primary, clinton will try to get back on track tonight. she just landed a very big endorsement, but sanders is on a roll and his campaign cash is rolling in. republicans are going all out ahead of the south carolina primary. marco rubio today slammed his opponents, claiming he has foreign policy experience that they simply lack. jeb bush says rubio has no
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record of accomplishments, and donald trump for now at least all of a sudden he's going a bit positive. he's dropping an ad critical of ted cruz and he's focusing in on touting his own record. north korea's dictator reportedly executes the chief of his army's general staff, continuing a ruthless of his inner circle. our correspondent's analysts and guests will have full coverage of all the day's top stories. let's begin with the dem nats. cnn political correspondent brianna keilar is live from milwaukee. there's certainly a lot riding on tonight's debate. >> wolf, there sure is and hillary clinton spending two down days just to prepare for tonight's debate, which both the clinton and the sanders campaigns see as crucial. bernie sanders is looking to
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build on his momentum following a big win in new hampshire. >> the energy and the excitement that the democratic party will need to succeed in november. >> reporter: while hillary clinton is hoping to reset the race with a strong performance. >> i know i have some work to do, particularly with young people. >> reporter: in advance of tonight's showdown, sanders took a victory lap which included an appearance on "the late show with stephen colbert" where he gave the host a little help with his monologue. >> senator, these shows start with a host standing up talking to a camera. >> steve, that's what the elites want you to think. >> reporter: sanders also seized on the opportunity to promote his vision for the country. >> why do you think the younglings like you? >> they look at a world with so many people and say why not. why can't all people have health care. why can't we make colleges and universities tuition-free. why not? >> reporter: sanders granite
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state victory is good news for his campaign cougheffers. they raised more than $6 million after the polls closed tuesday night. as the democratic fight enters a new phase, both campaigns are ramping up their outreach to african-american voters. clinton today picking up the endorsement of the political arm of the congressional black caucus. >> it's not even close. it's hillary clinton. >> reporter: the endorsement event also putting sanders' role in the civil rights movement in the spotlight. sanders has talked about attending the 1963 march on washington. >> i was way, way back there, one of the several hundred thousand people who was here. >> reporter: but congressman john lewis, a civil rights leader and a clinton supporter downplayed sanders' history with the movement in comparison to the clintons. >> i never saw him. i never met him. was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom ride, the march on washington, the march from selma
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to montgomery and directed the voter education project for six years. but i met hillary clinton. a met president clinton. >> reporter: i spoke with the clinton campaign source today who says she's going to try to draw compelling contrasts on issues that she sees being of import to african-american and hispanic voters, namely that would be crime, immigration and guns. guns perhaps the area where there's the most clear contrast between sanders and clinton, wolf. >> very powerful statement from congressman john lewis there. thanks very much. let's go to jeff zeleny. jeff, you've been on the campaign trail with the sanders campaign. how are they handling expectations, first of all, for tonight's debate? >> reporter: first of all, they're trying to get them in check. it's been a very big week for the sanders campaign, no question about it, bigger than they anticipated. that 22-point win in new hampshire has sort of raised the bar and the stakes for them.
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i'm told that one senior advisor is going to keep doing what he's doing. it's been working so far. but briana is absolutely right, as the clinton campaign focuses more on guns, on criminal justice reform, on immigration, the burden will be on senator sanders to spend more time on this and go back through his tangled issue on guns. that is one of the things that they believe is holding him back here, especially with women voters. he did very well with them in iowa and new hampshire, but that is a central concern to them. first and foremost, he was outcampaigning yesterday. he was on the "late show" last night. he has not spent as much time preparing for this debate as she has. >> this is their first debate since sanders' very impressive victory in new hampshire. how could this one be different than some of the earlier ones? >> reporter: i think the biggest difference is the moment that we are in here. she does not walk on the stage as the undisputed front-runner at this point. she certainly has many, many advantages, but there are so many eyeballs on both of them here. the dynamic is different.
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so i think it could be different in the sense this is more of a national audience. this is more of the race playing out forward here. minority interests, the interest of the core base of the democratic party will be front and center. look for hillary clinton to talk more about the democratic party. bernie sanders, of course, has been an independent his whole career and she's trying to make that point clear. at the same time, she is trying to look like she would be new and different as well, so look for her to try to tap into some of that, you know, newness, that anti-establishment view. it's tough for her to do, but she would be a historic figure. she would be the first woman president. she will say that again and again tonight. wolf. >> all right, jeff, thank you. let's get more on the upcoming debate but i want to turn to the race for the republican presidential nomination right now. the candidates there are already in south carolina and gearing up for a primary contest that's famous for some brutal tactics and scorched earth attacks. our political reporter sara murray is following the gop campaign and is joining us with more. what's the latest over there,
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sara? >> reporter: that's right, wolf, south carolina is known for dirty politics but there are at least a couple candidates who are trying to keep it positive. if you can even believe it, one of them is donald trump. in the rough and tumble south carolina primary -- >> the last thing we need is another bush. that i can tell you. >> you want an entertainer in chief? someone who will say whatever he wants to make it all about him? insult people, divide people, basically just talk trash? >> reporter: it's a battle to dethrone donald trump. >> donald trump has zero foreign policy experience. negotiating a hotel deal in another country is not foreign policy experience. >> reporter: after his big victory earlier this week -- >> new hampshire, what a great place. what a great place. >> reporter: trump's rivals are pouncing. while the blustery billionaire has mainly trained his fire on his favorite foil, jeb bush. >> he's a low energy person. he's a stiff. >> reporter: the prominent
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evangelical population could be setting up a showdown between trump and ted cruz. >> i'll tell you in the state of south carolina, i don't think people are interested in someone, a republican candidate who's pushed partial birth abortion, who won't defend marriage and who supports big government bailouts. >> reporter: cruz won iowa, but it's trump who has the faithful following here in the palmetto state, where his rallies regularly draw thousands. now trump is trying a different tactic. his campaign says it's replacing this ad that takes on cruz. >> what kind of man talks from both sides of his mouth on %-p? >> reporter: with this sunny spot instead. >> i came to hear donald trump's business plan for america. >> it's really cool to hear him speak the truth. >> tells it like it is. >> make america great. >> reporter: his campaign saying they believe trump's more positive message lifted him there. john kasich is carrying the
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positive message. >> it's all negative. how in the heck can you sell negative? you know, i want to talk about what i'm for, my vision, my view, my positive. >> reporter: but even he says when attacked, he's ready to strike back. >> somebody wants to poke at me and they do, they're already starting, that's okay. you know, i'm not going to be a pin cushion, though. i don't take crap from anybody. >> reporter: now, donald trump is calling out some of his rivals on the campaign trail for bad behavior. he took to twitter to say we are getting reports from many voters that the cruz people are back to doing very sleazy and dishonest push polls on me. we are watching! donald trump has pledged this positivity in south carolina, but tonight he's actually campaigning in baton rouge, louisiana. so we'll see if that promise works across state lines. wolf? >> thanks very much for that, sara murray. she's already in louisiana with donald trump. let's discuss the state of the
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race right now with scottie hughes, chief political correspondent upon radio usa network and a donald trump supporter. sco scottie, thanks very much for joining us. what do you make of the decision to pull the attack ad and replace it with a positive message about his own campaign? >> let's talk about the people of south carolina first because that's what this has to do with. they are known for having shrimp and grits, great palmetto trees and knowing how to have the most dirtiest of all dirty campaigns, whether on the republican or democrat side. mr. trump has realized that he's already proven that he can throw punches and take them, so now he has to show that he's the adult in the room when everybody else is acting like children, which is a great move from him. i like the fact that he doesn't have to respond back to these. i've said before on your show in the past, wolf, eagles don't hunting flies. right now the rest of these candidates are acting so childish and not focusing on what makes them the best person
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for president, rather tearing others down. that's not what's good for the republican party. i know we read one of the other tweets. donald trump just tweeted out saying the republican party with the help of conservatives made so many promises to their base, but they didn't keep them. that is why we are in the situation today and it's all about building trust. donald trump believes at this point in south carolina he needs to go positive. >> i understand the need to go positive to show that he's the adult in the room, if you will, but let's say ted cruz, who's a major challenger, has a lot of support among the evangelicals in south carolina, let's say. let's say he really goes after trump, is trump not going to respond? >> it depends on what he accuses him with. it's real simple to answer ted cruz when he goes after him for his conservative record. right now the president is about to push forward a $4.1 trillion budget, wolf. within that budget is the taxpayer funding of planned parenthood, abortions, something that evangelicals are against
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funding for. yet, do you see ted cruz out there in washington, d.c., doing everything he can to fight or any of these senators? they're not. their records speak louder than their words do on the campaign trail. mr. trump knows it's just easier to point out how they faltered on these type of issues and spent more time on the campaign trail than actually caring about the jobs they were elected to do right now. >> scottie, stand by. we have the latest attacks by marco rubio against donald trump. he claims the republican front-runner has no national security foreign policy experience. we'll get to that and a lot more when we come back. et t... may not always be clear. but at t. rowe price, we can help guide your retirement savings. for over 75 years, investors have relied on our disciplined approach to find long term value. so wherever your retirement journey takes you, we can help you reach your goals. call a t. rowe price retirement specialist or your advisor
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we're following new and
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important developments in the race for the republican presidential nomination. the field is narrowing after donald trump's overwhelming victory in new hampshire and the remaining candidates are fighting for the chance to knock the gop front-runner from his perch. we're back with scottie nell hughes, a trump supporter. senator marco rubio said today and i'm quoting him now, donald trump has zero foreign policy experience. negotiating a hotel deal in another country is not foreign policy experience. your reply. >> well, i think that's a lot more experience than sitting in a committee room like senator marco rubio has now. let's call this what it is. senator rubio sits on the committee for foreign intelligence and as well as relations. he gets to have access to special information that nobody else does, so of course he can sit there and repeat and say these talking points and people have to take him for what it is without validating. now, looking at this, wolf, we're seeing all this negativity here. let me just make one thing clear. it's not -- if it's the truth, it's not negative, it's called the truth.
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i'm sorry if it makes other people look bad or other candidates look bad. if these people right now go mr. trump is always the first person to say the negative, my question for them is what has he said that hasn't been true? i'm sorry that the truth hurts and you have to feel the pain. we are seeing the most childish of things coming out of marco rubio and others. there's a hit piece out today on mr. trump asking -- sitting there talking about how last night he ordered his ribeye to be well done. that is how petty we are getting in this campaign right now. so no wonder with all of these things coming at mr. trump that he's rising above the fray because in the end he knows the republican party is going to have to unify and go after the democrats, who are actually a lot stronger than the majority of conservatives are being able to estimate. >> as you know, the former president, george w. bush, he'll join jeb bush, his brother, out there on the campaign trail in south carolina on monday, this coming monday. trump has been very critical of the former president. how do you think he will respond sto all of this? >> i think it's going to be very simple. he's going point out the last
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two years of george w. bush. an administration that caused the financial crisis that we had in 2008 and the reason why we have had eight years of a democrat president because they could not take any more of this gop-controlled congress or the gop president or else our country would be even more in financial issues. that's why another reason why we don't need another bush in office. >> adds you know, donald trump has focused a lot of his energy going after jeb bush, even when jeb bush was not polling well in iowa, or for that matter in new hampshire. but some see him as still a major competitor because of the money that his campaign has, the super pac his campaign has. does donald trump still see jeb bush as his main threat? >> i don't think he's a threat. i don't think mr. trump ever saw him as a main threat. look at it, jeb bush in new hampshire spent, what was it, $400,000 -- or $4 million in new hampshire and only came in fourth and fifth. he's spending the dollars and not getting the results. which comes back to bernie sanders saying we need to take the money out of politics. money is what is controlling
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these politicians. if you really believe that, then donald trump is your man because he's by far spending the least and getting the best results. because the truth and honesty are what produce the results more than the mighty dollar. >> why is donald trump today in louisiana at this big rally that he's getting ready for? the primary there is march 5th? >> because it's the long game. that's the one thing like i've said. the republican party has not had this strategy, wolf. they think just in the short term we need to do these little sprints. that's not how you succeed in business and that's not how you succeed in anything. mr. trump is going, you know what, i've got the s.e.c. right around march 1st, that super tuesday is right around the corner and i need to make sure that i show love to everybody else. he does a great job of that. when you're sitting -- and like i said, he's not spending the taxpayer dollars, he's not spending donor dollars, he's spending his own money so he's being smart. maybe if that's what we had to take and everybody had to spend their own dollars, they would spread it around the country and
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make sure that everybody could hear the good message of a great future president. >> scottie hughes, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, bernie sanders and hillary clinton are getting ready to face off in their first debate since new hampshire. sanders riding high after a big win in new hampshire. can aggressive new tactics put hillary clinton back on track? and north korea's leader ordering another execution, this time his own army chief. what's the young dictator afraid of? stay with us, you're in "the situation room."
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while hillary clinton and bernie sanders prepare for tonight's democratic presidential debate, the republicans are getting ready for the traditionally nasty south carolina primary. joining us now our cnn chief political correspondent, dana bash, our politics executive editor, mark preston, commentator hilary rosen and assistant editor of "the washington post," david swerdlick. what is trump's primary goal right now in pulling this very negative attack ad on ted cruz and going positive. >> it's the best of both worlds, right? he was able to put it out there, plant the seed in the minds of south carolina voters and then pull it back and say, look, i'm going to be a good guy about this. it's very easy for him to switch out another ad and go negative again. he already has the ad time already purchased. but i think it was smart by trump. if we saw anything out of new
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hampshire with john kasich it's that being a nice guy does pay off. being donald trump, being a nice guy catches people off guard and i think would be good for him. >> and he actually had some moments, an extended period of time in new hampshire -- >> who's he? >> he, trump, did sort of take the negativity out of his stump speech. i was actually struck by it. it was a couple of days -- i'm losing all track of time but a couple of days after the iowa caucuses where he didn't do as well as he had hoped. he totally changed up his speech. he talked a lot more about what he would do, why he's so different than anybody else, first-time politician, knows how to make deals, all of that. and for a time, he really didn't sort of mix it up with the others. he told me in an interview a few days ago that his father used to say to him, you know what, sometimes it's important to take the lumps out. what that advice was meaning to say was, you know what, you don't always have to be so hard charging. >> i don't think he's listening to his father, though. because mark is right.
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he's having this both ways. we're now talking about this ad so he doesn't have to run it because people are going to go to, you know, youtube or anywhere else and find the ad. >> exactly. >> and they'll be able to see it and he's still attached to it. >> you're absolutely right. >> the attack ad against ted cruz. >> but the point is, is that all of that negativity and the insulting, that was overshadowing his core message and so he wants to have both. he wants to be able to stay positive as well. >> let me play, david, this ad. this is a ted cruz ad targeting marco rubio and the issue of illegal immigration. >> has anyone else here struggled with being lied to? >> well, i voted for a guy who was a tea party hero on the campaign trail and then he went to d.c. and played patty-cake with chuck schumer and cut a deal on amnesty. >> does that make you angry? >> angry? it makes me feel dumb for trusting him. >> maybe you should vote for more than just a pretty face next time. >> do you guys have room for one more? >> come on in.
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come on in. >> come on in, you can have frank's chair. >> i'm ted cruz and i approve this message. >> i think it's pretty effective. these guys are very similar. they're the same age, both of color, senators, from sun belt states so they're trying to get separation from each other. i think cruz's camp realizes that they can count on the support of those hard core tea party folks that put him over the top in his texas senate race so they're trying to say that rubio is not that, that he's a pretty boy, a lightweight and they'll probably swing back around to his flip-flop on the gang of eight. >> you know something about these kinds of ads. pretty effective? >> well, it probably will be effective for a narrow piece, but the nastiness of calling him a pretty face is the reason why people don't like ted cruz. so he risks actually making his negatives harder when he goes after people with such a direct insult. >> they liked him in iowa and there's a lot of evangelicals in
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south carolina as well. >> but ted cruz is the reason that the republican party is coalescing around other folks. so it can drive people away just as easily. >> let's just go back to the beginning with donald trump. donald trump is now stepping back and being the nice guy and he's letting these two senators hit each other, hilt each other, and who just sits back and watches, donald trump. >> where does john kasich, the relatively moderate republican governor of ohio, twice elected, very popular in ohio, did very well in new hampshire, where does he fit in in the immediate future, let's say in south carolina and nevada. >> in the immediate future in south carolina he doesn't fit in very well at all and they know that very well inside the kasich campaign. they are not only trying to lower expectations about doing well there, it happens to match with the reality. they don't expect to do well there. they just want to kind of tread water, stay alive, bring in money. he actually got a pretty big backer, financial backer today, ted langone who supported chris christie and he's gone over to
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john kasich's camp. that's great news for him for that long-term plan. he just wants to stay in the game until he can get to the midwestern states in the middle of march. >> there's another debate saturday night. rubio had a slip-up in the last presidentiresidential debate. what does he have to do this time? >> he has to shed that idea that he has these canned lines and overuses them. he won't have an attack dog like christie attacking him so he's got to anticipate what is rubio -- i mean what is cruz going to do to try and throw him off his game. as mark said, they're really going at each other to see who's going to be the guy to take on trump. >> hilary, you prepared candidates for these kinds of debates. don't they usually get these talking points, keep hitting, stress these points. sort of backfired in this case for rubio. >> well, it back fired because, first of all, he repeated something and then it sounded exactly the same and he had been doing it for the last couple of days. but what you try and do is give
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candidates enough breadth in their preparation so that they have some things that are familiar to go to. but they have to really be responsive to the moment of the and that's the skill of debating. the good ones don't come in with the canned answers. the good ones come in able to react quickly and feel the room. >> but what might be a preview is today marco rubio changed a lot on the trail. he started hitting ted cruz, donald trump, jeb bush, extremely hard by name which he was not doing in new hampshire. >> he did that yesterday when he was here in an interview with me in "the situation room." we have a lot more to discuss, including the big debate tonight, the democratic presidential debate. we're not that far away from it in milwaukee. you're looking at live pictures right now. three and a half hours from now, bernie sanders, hillary clinton, they face off. we'll be right back. you both have a
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take a look at these. these are live pictures coming in from the university of wis si -- wisconsin, milwaukee, where the democratic debate will be simulcast right here tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. hillary clinton and bernie sanders are getting ready for that high-stakes debate tonight, especially for hillary clinton it's crucial after the lop-sided results in new hampshire where bernie sanders won. you know, she did get a major endorsement today, dana, from the congressional black caucus political action committee. they came out in big numbers. they said they want her to be the next president of the united
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states, not bernie sanders. >> that's right. it was really a show of force because a lot of those individual members of congress had already endorsed her, but the symbolism and the idea of them all getting together and embracing her, again, is not just symbolically but also their pac, their political action committee, which means they can put political might behind her is a very big deal because that is exactly the kind of constituency that she and her campaign have been banking on after they left new hampshire and iowa where the democratic constituencies are a lot more white. >> in 2008 it was african-american -- >> it's all over the south and in other places that have more urban democratic populations. >> it's a very important constituency there. listen, david, these are powerful words from john lewis. he was asked about bernie sanders and his record on these issues. listen to this. >> but i never saw him.
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i never met him. i would chair the student nonviolent coordinating committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. i was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom ride, the march on washington, the march from selma to montgomery and directed the voter education project for six years. but i met hillary clinton. >> that's a pretty powerful statement right there. bernie sanders, he says he was involved in the civil rights movement in the '60s. he did come to washington with when dr. martin luther king spoke but john lewis never saw him. >> i think congressman lewis is the hero of the edmund pettis bridge. he has tremendous respect across this country including from me. i see this issue a little differently than him. it seems to me that as congressmen they might evaluate senator sanders not on what he did during the civil rights movement but on his 25 years in
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congress with these other members of congress. you know, today when i heard that congressman lewis made that statement, i actually called one of my college mentors who had gone on the mississippi freedom rides and asked him what he thought of that and he said, a, that he had tremendous respect for john lewis, but b, he thought the issue was what was sanders prepared to do now. >> as a long-time member of congress. but some of these members said over these 25 or 30 years, even as a member of the house and a member of the senate he did not take a leadership role on a lot of these issues. >> that's what's interesting. bernie sanders served in congress with john lewis for many years, and the fact that congressm maman lewis would go and say something so stark is a testament to their loyalty to hillary clinton. and the fact that so many of sanders' colleagues in the house and senate say we know this guy and we are working and yet we want hillary clinton. you know, it makes you wonder. i think in particular on these civil rights issues, you know, it shows the divide really,
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whereas hillary clinton has really always been on the civil rights side of progressive politics. whether it's women or african-americans, lgbt, latino, where bernie sanders views his politics more on the economic side. in some cases those two places haven't really met the same way these caucus members have thought about it. >> right, but to see someone like representative lewis, who we all respect. i mean everybody respects him. to come out so forcefully against bernie sanders sends up that red flare in the sky to show you how concerned the clinton campaign is now that bernie sanders is coming on strong and really is starting to galvanize that left. there is concern there. >> i'm glad you said that because he is a civil rights icon but he is also a very shrewd politician who is extremely close with the clintons. extremely close. so that was a political statement more than anything else. >> some of us who covered bill clinton during his eight years, a lot of african-americans, you probably remember this, used to call him the first black president because he was so close to the african-american
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community. bernie sanders, to his credit, take a look at the money he has raised since his very dramatic powerful win in new hampshire. i'm looking at the numbers in the first 24 hours. $6.4 million, which suggests this campaign is going to go on and on and on. >> right. so we reported this on election night the other night in new hampshire, that the sanders campaign is not looking at a singular geographic fight right now. they realize south carolina is out of their hands. nevada they might actually win. there's going to be a battle over that. what sanders is doing right now, as dana is talking about how hillary clinton is focusing on the south where there's a huge african-american contingent, bernie sanders is going states like colorado and massachusetts and minnesota and oklahoma. a lot of these states have caucuses driven by the grassroots because it really is a delegate fight and he sees this as a possibility to spread this out. >> do you think there's going to be some clashes tonight in the democratic presidential debate? >> yeah, absolutely. what we've seen based on what we were talking about here is that there's this real fight right now in the south carolina primary over the african-american vote, which is
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the majority of the democratic vote in south carolina, and there's this sort of arms race going on right now about who can appeal most to this core democratic skpit aeconstituency. you have the democratic black establishment lining up with secretary clinton. you have folks like cornell west and rapper killer mike lining up with bernie sanders. >> harry belafonte now too. >> i was not aware of that. so it's this escalating divide or at least competition for the black vote. >> but my advice to hillary clinton tonight is not to go too adepreggressive at bernie sande. her surrogates are doing this pretty aggressively. but people really want to see hillary clinton for who -- in sort of the thoughtful, optimistic, hopeful way that they see bernie sanders. and her supporters really need to see that she actually can be inspiring. >> what are you looking for tonight? >> i think that's very interesting because the last debate she obviously hit him very hard for making these
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accusations by insinuation. not actually saying it. there was some booing in the audience. who knows what that really meant out there in the real world with the democratic voters. but it is a fine line. it is a really fine line. she's got to show spirit, she's got to show optimism but she's also got to try to put him in his place. >> it's tougher, though, and it is harder for women. women come across much more differently when they are aggressive and negative than men do. she has to hold back in a way that he doesn't. it's not fair, it's true, though. >> the problem she has, she has a lot more experience with national security, foreign policy, but he keeps coming back to that vote she did in favor of the war in iraq and she keeps -- he keeps slamming her on that, so i don't know how willing she's willing to try to show off on her expertise. >> right. i don't know what secretary clinton can do about that. that was one of the reasons that then senator obama emerged in 2008, because he had opposed
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publicly the iraq war and she faces that same problem with senator sanders. i think the thing for secretary clinton, though, i agree it is harder for a woman to be expressive and passionate on the stump. at the same time i think at least in the case of clinton, she does well when she does that. her speech the other night sounded passionate. >> her best answer on the war, by the way, is even after that vote, barack obama chose me to be secretary of state. she gave that answer in the first vaguest debate as you recall. she hasn't repeated it much since and it was successful. >> and she could go one step further and say he asked me to be secretary of state, he didn't ask you, senator, he asked me. that's what she could say. >> she could. >> she could take debate lessons from you. >> thanks very much. bernie sanders and hillary clinton face off just a little over three hours from now. in the pbs news hour democratic presidential debate which you'll see right here on cnn and your local pbs stations, that's tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern.
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coming up, north korea's volatile young leader appears to have executed another top official in his inner circle. is kim jong-un afraid of losing his grip on power?
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the north korean leader kim jong-un appears to have executed another top military official. the latest in what's becoming a disturbing pattern for the young dictator. brian todd has details. >> tonight u.s. officials telling us they are watching this situation very closely because of all the trouble coming from north korea recently. rising tensions at the border. a major missile test. a nuclear test. and now the mysterious death of
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a top general very close to kim jong-un. a u.s. defense official telling us this appears to be one of the most senior officials executed by kim. one analyst says this could be a signal of a real instability at the top of the regime. north korea's reckless young dictator turns against one of his closest advisers, the chief of the north korean army's general staff. said to be executed at the orders of kim jong-un. that's according to a south korean official with knowledge of north korean affairs. if this is confirmed, a u.s. official tells cnn it's another example of kim's extreme brutality. the south korean official cited three reasons why the general may have been executed. >> factionalism, misuse of power and corruption. what does that mean? >> in this case, he was purged and executed because something that he did or something that he said was interpreted as being disloyal to the leader. perhaps he attempted to command
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too much loyalty from those around him. >> reporter: south korean intelligence says kim has executed at least 80 top officials since coming to power in late 2011. by most counts, that's shockingly more than were executed by his father kim jong-il. with his reported death, experts say three of kim's last four top army generals have either been killed or disappeared. >> he leads by intimidation, fear, outright execution. it's just -- it imparts to anyone within the north korean system that be very, very careful about what you say and do. don't run afoul of the young kim. >> one of the top officials who ran afoul was reportedly executed with an anti-aircraft gun in front of hundreds of people for pushing back on kim's orders and nodding off at meetings. kim's own uncle was believed to have been executed for creating his own power base building a side fortune from overseas
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trading operations. he was could despicable human scum. a trader for the ages after his death. analysts say it's not just the purged official who is target e but sometimes three generations of his family, a practice which might prompt those closest to kim to turn against him. >> maybe some of those senior officials might start considering alternatives to the king jong-un regime. >> but a human rights monitor says any attempt at a coup against kim would be difficult. spies are everywhere inside the regime. and north korean generals are the most intensely surveilled people in the government. wolf? >> it's amazing when you think about it. not always for offenses like treason or corruption these officials are targeted. what else is going on? >> it can be on almost anything. >> the architect of pyongyang's new airport was executed because kim didn't like the design of the airport. he sometimes executes people because of the religion or
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sexuality. we're counting down to the big demkracts debate. the first face-off between bernie sanders and hillary clinton since new hampshire. can a big endorsement put hillary clinton back on track? she just gained the backing of the political arm of the congressional black caucus. but b but bernie sanders answers with a big name backer of his own.
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that's why i switched from u-verse to xfinity. now i can download my dvr recordings and take them anywhere. ready or not, here i come! (whispers) now hide-and-seek time can also be catch-up-on-my-shows time. here i come! can't find you anywhere! don't settle for u-verse. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. happening now, breaking news. head-to-head, bernie sanders and hillary clinton about to face off for the first time since his commanding win and her unnerving loss in new hampshire. sanders riding high into their
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next battles while clinton struggling to strange her fortunes. will tonight be the night? i'll ask campaign spokesman brian fallon. storming success. tweaking their messages ahead of the primary, unleashing on each other and especially against donald trump. we're standing by for a trump campaign event. we're watching him roll out a new campaign strategy. will it work? truce or dare. secretary of state john kerry pressing for a ceasefire in syria. a potential make or break moment as troubled peace talks threaten to collapse. government troops slaughtering the opposition with the help of russian air strikes. are bashar al assad's forces on the verge of a divisive victory in syria's brutal civil war. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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this is cnn breaking news. >> a high stakes debate between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. take a look at this. live pictures from the debate hall in milwaukee where the democratic presidential candidates will soon face off for the first time since sanders' overwhelming win in the new hampshire primary. their next battlegrounds, nevada and south carolina. we're counting down to the pbs news hour democratic presidential debate which we'll be carrying live right here on cnn. and we're standing by for a donald trump campaign event. the republican presidential front-runner trying on a new campaign strategy just ahead of the south carolina primary. going positive instead of negative. will it last as trump faces increasingly heavy fire from all sides of the gop field. and we're covering all of that. much more this hour with our guest, includie ining clinton campaign spokesman brian fallon and our experts and analysts.
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they are alm stal standing by l. our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny is in wisconsin for us. jeff, this will mark the start of a new phase for both campaigns. >> wolf, the start of a new phase indeed and a chance for hillary clinton to regain her footing after the new hampshire victory by bernie sanders this week that's shattered the confidence of her once front-running campaign. a showdown in milwaukee. >> you are the reason we are here. >> reporter: hillary clinton and bernie sanders on the same stage tonight. their first face-to-face feeting since tables turned in the depp kratic primary fight. >> i want to begin by congratulating senator sanders on his victory tonight. >> reporter: sanders suddenly in the driver's seat after a commanding win in new hampshire. >> thank you, new hampshire. and now it's on to nevada, south carolina and beyond. >> reporter: clinton is well positioned for a long battle ahead. an endorsement from the
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congressional black caucus. >> there is no question that the person that has obtained the most results and benefits for communities of color and everyone in america in my opinion, it's not even close. it's hillary clinton. >> reporter: congressman john lewis, a leader of the bloody sunday civil rights march was asked about the civil rights record of sanders who as a student played a far less visible role in the march on washington. >> i was way, way back there, one of the several hundred thousand people who was here. >> i never saw him. i never met him. i was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom ride, the march on selma to montgomery and directed the voter education project for six years. i met hillary clinton. i met president clinton. >> not all members were on board. keith ellison and sanders
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supporters said the endorsement was without input from cbc membership, including me. in a battle of endorsements, the sanders campaign weighed in with one of their own today. harry belafonte. >> i think he represents a certain kind of truth not often evidenced in the course of politics. >> reporter: with iowa and new hampshire in the books, the sanders/clinton is playing out. it's a state where 20% of voters are hispanic. the south carolina democratic primary is the following week. 55% of democratic voters in 2008 were african-american. sanders who says he raised more than $6 million since new hampshire took a victory lap on "the late show with stephen colbert." >> why do you think the younglings like you? >> i think for two reasons. my definition of young people are idealistic and they look at a world with so many problems. >> the clinton campaign is struggling to keep pace raising money. sending an appeal today.
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we just can't allow our team to be outraised and outspent like this. this team is bigger, more diverse and more enthusiastic than bernie's team. it's time for us to show it. the time for clinton to show it is tonight. it gcomes with their latest debate here. one of the biggest worries is fund-raising. the clinton campaign believes they'll have less money than bernie sanders going forward. and that matters as this campaign goes to nevada, south carolina and quickly spreads across the country. some 15 contests so key in march. wolf? >> jeff zeleny, thanks. want to bring in senior political analyst brianna keilar, also in milwaukee for us. you've been talking to your source and getting more sense of hillary clinton's strategy going forward. what are you learning? >> as you know, she spent a couple of days down preparing for this debate. we may be in wisconsin but this is a battle for nevada and south carolina and important
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constituencies for democrats in those states. namely african-americans and hispanics. what we're expecting from the campaign and from hillary clinton tonight is for her to really give what one aide told me are compelling contrasts on a series of issues that they think will motivate african-american and hispanic voters. for instance, bernie sanders' support of the 1994 crime bill. the complicating factor for hillary clinton is she, while not in the senate at the time, first lady, she did voice support for this. it was a bill her husband signed into law. but we also expect the campaign and in some way hillary clinton will be targeting bernie sanders on immigration. he voted against several procedural bill -- procedural votes in the senate in 2007 for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. and we expect that she may take some aim at him on that. now he really did side with
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labor, not so much with immigrant right activists. but his campaign said that was something you had a number of immigrant groups not in favor of. perhaps we'll hear a defense of that. most clearly what we're going to hear her take on bernie sanders about is going to be guns. because of his more moderate stance on guns compared to her. and that's going to be done, we think, very much with an eye to south carolina where as you know last year nine african-american parishioners were killed by a gunman in that church attack in charleston, wolf. >> brianna keilar in milwaukee for us. thank you. let's get more on all of this. joining us now the clinton campaign spokesman brian fallon. thanks for joining us. so hillary clinton's coming off the loss in new hampshire. what does she need to do tonight? >> well, we always knew that new hampshire would be a challenge for us. senator sanders led there pretty consistently dating back to the summer. wolf, as you said, we're entering a new phase of the campaign. from this point forward, the map
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gets much more diverse in terms of the electorate you'll see in nevada and south carolina. and then come super tuesday, at the -- on the 1st of march you'll see electorates much more representative of the democratic party and nation as a whole. as a result of that, there will be more conversation about who has been there, who has the track record, who has gotten results on behalf of some of these underrepresented communities that are overrepresented in these states coming up. i think you heard it from the cbc members whose endorsement we were proud to collect today. when it comes to fighting for african-americans and hispanics on issues that are most important to them, hillary clinton has been there for decades and bernie sanders just hasn't. >> are we going to see a different strategy, a different side of hillary clinton tonight going after bernie sanders and his record on various issues? >> well, wolf, i don't have any details from today's debate preparations. but i think that all the debates are important. she enjoys debating. that's why we sought to add
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several more of them. going forward as we enter this critical stretch at the end of which, by the end of march, skuc60% of delegates will have been awarded and will have a front-runner whose lead probably can't be caught. there will be three points of contrast. who can get results? you heard senator sanders criticize president obama today over his failure of leadership over the last seven years. that's an absurd criticism coming from someone who has been in congress for 35 years and has little accomplishment. who can pass the commander in chief test? we're five debates in. senator sanders has continued to fail the foreign policy test each time. he owes it to democratic voters to do his work and show up prepared to have a serious conversation about foreign policy. and thirdly as i said, as we enter the states that are going to be more diverse and where there will be communities that face systemic bear yirs to making progress, the real question becomes, who has been
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there fighting the fight on behalf of these communities? it's hillary clinton, not bernie sanders. >> she tweeted today this, picking occupy something you just said. let's dispel with this fiction that president obama doesn't know what he's doing? he knows exactly what he's doing. she then linked that to a story quoting bernie sanders who said in an interview that the president had not closed the gap between congress and the american people. will she continue to defend the president strongly tonight and go after sanders specifically on this issue? >> she was proud to serve under president obama in the first term of his administration. obviously she had a very hard-fought contest with him in 2008. he respected her judgment. they came together and made history in terms of improving our relations around the globe with her as secretary of state. and she has so much pride in the accomplishments we've seen under president obama from the affordable care act to his brave executive actions to help keep families united here. it's absurd for senator sanders to be criticizing president
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obama. the comments we heard today are not new from him. he's called for a course correction. he's endorsed a book suggesting president obama has been a let down to progressives. nothing could be further from the truth. he's translated it into results over the last seven years and has built out the democratic party. senator sanders has done nothing on either of those two fronts. >> did the hillary clinton campaign underestimate bernie sanders? >> absolutely not. we says back in the spring we always knew this race would be close. i don't think everyone believed us back in the spring when we said that, but it's turning out to be the case. this will be a spirited contest. it's growing the party. this is -- what senator sanders is doing in terms of motivating young people to come into the democratic party is a very important thing. and -- but i do think that over the next six weeks, there will be a sorting out and by the end of march there will be a candidate that has a lead in terms of the pledge delegates that will be hard for the challenger to overcome.
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that candidate that will have that lead at the end of march will be hillary clinton. >> what is the biggest weakness in your opinion that bernie sanders has? >> the clear contrast in this race is who has actually gotten results on the progressive values that senator sanders and secretary clinton share. when it comes to affordable health care, hillary clinton was the one that waged that fight back in the early 1990s and when we couldn't get universal health care despite a big effort on capitol hill, she got 8 million kids insured. senator sanders introduced the same single payer legislation for his 25 years in congress and in the senate wasn't able to get a single co-sponsor. he wasn't able to bring it up a single time for a vote. now he's saying he's going to achieve it as president? we need somebody that can get results. hillary clinton is that person. >> he's getting a lot of support among young people, including young women. what can she do to change that? >> well, senator sanders is promising a lot. and i guess when you put out
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there that you're going to be able to deliver free health care and free college, that's going to have some appeal. that's quite natural. but we need to be -- we owe it to the voters about how you're actually going to achieve what you are proposing. hillary clinton put out serious plans that would build on the progress made under president obama. with respect to young people she's acknowledged senator sanders has demonstrated wide appeal with young people. and she wants to make inroads with those folks. as she has said on numerous kaelgs occasions, even if they are not for her right now she's always going to be there for them. as we communicate her work early in her career coming out of law school working for the children's defense fund, her work on behalf of a campaign that ultimately didn't capture the nomination. this woman channeled her idealism into progressive causes and she's lived out those values for the rest of her life. we need to tell that story more n the more appeal we'll
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encounter with young voters. >> the white house press secretary, jay carney, a cnn commentator, said this the other night. he says i don't think there's any doubt that he, referring to president obam awants hillary to win the nomination and believe she would be the best candidate to follow the most effective as president in carrying forward what he's achieved. i assume hillary clinton has heard those words. what was her reaction? >> i don't think there's any doubt that there's deep mutual respect and admiration between hillary clinton and president obama. i think hillary clinton is the one best posed to continue the obama legacy. continue to protect the gains made under president obama. historic achievements. we need to protect those accomplishments from health care to executive actions on immigration. she's laid out plans for how to do that. see has deep pride and admiration in having served under president obama and it's strange and peculiar that senator sanders a continues to
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criticize her. >> brian fallon, more to discuss. stand by. we're getting ready for tonight's big debate. the presidential debate in milwaukee. you are looking at live pictures. the pbs "newshour" democratic debate. bernie sanders and hillary clinton will be there. it will be simulcast on cnn starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern. stick around. we'll be right back. many people clean their dentures
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we're looking at live pictures coming in. the site of tonight's high stakes debate between hillary clinton and bernie sanders, the democratic presidential candidates getting ready to face off soon at the university of wisconsin campus milwaukee. we're back with clinton campaign
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spokesman brian fallon. some are saying that it may be a mistake for hillary clinton and the campaign to be using the former president bill clinton so much out there on the campaign trail. is he going to continue to be very visible? >> wolf, i don't know what to tell you except this campaign feels strongly any day we have president clinton out there advocating for secretary clinton, that's a good day for our campaign. you'll continue to see him out there. >> quick reaction to "the washington post" story that moved today reporting that investigators from the state department issued a subpoena to the bill, hillary and chelsea clinton foundation last fall seeking documents about the charity's projects that may have required approval from the federal government during clinton's term as secretary of state. they also reportedly, according to "the washington post," asked for records related to her top aide huma abedin. what can you tell us about this? >> i saw that report but i really can't tell you much more than what's in it. the foundation has been quoted
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in that story noting that the request that came from the ig does not concern hillary clinton or the foundation, but it's very hard to be honest with you for me personally to keep track of all the fishing expeditions with ig office has conducted. a couple of years ago this same office launched an investigation into one of secretary clinton's top aides over maternity leave. and when the justice department refused to go along with that fishing expedition they had to give it up. they've been looking for other things. we've seen reports of who works in that office. that state department ig's office. the number two official there, amelia desanto, an eight-year aide to chuck grassley who said his number one goal this year is to defeat hillary clinton. the number three official we just learned conducted a failed prosecution of a former campaign aide to secretary clinton back when she was running for senate in 2000. they took that to trial. the gentleman was acquitted. they have a history of targeting
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hillary clinton and strangely we've seen a pattern of leaks emerging on the eaves of primary elections and debates. it's a very troubling phenomenon and it's more of the same. the voters see through it, and i don't think it will figure into the voting in the next six weeks. >> you say this fishing expedition or whatever, you are calling it that there's a plot inside the ig, the inspector general's office at the state department to get hillary clinton? >> all i know is they have mounted several different fishing expedition style investigations since she decided to run for president. there's no basis to any of them and it's intended to create headwinds for her campaign. it's not going to work. she's a fighter who has spent decades encountering resistance from those who want to defend the status quo. she keeps fighting for progressive change. >> the inspector general himself was appointed by the president of the united states, confirmed by a democratic majority in the senate. you aren't suggesting that the
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ig himself, maybe other aides in that office, you are accusing them of something -- >> there's a lot of questions -- >> go ahead and tell us what's you think about the ig, the inspector general himself, charles mccullough. >> that's the inspector general for the intelligence community. also the state department. two of the top aides in that office have a background in terms of targeting hillary clinton. you see the number two official in that office, a former top aide to senator chuck grassley. worked for him for eight years and strangely, coincidentally, senator grassley comes upon possession of many of the details of the state department ig's office reviews and strangely just coincidentally they end up leaking out. people should draw their own conclusions. i think democratic voters see it as quite transparent. >> you are making a serious accusations about a potential witch hunt. you aren't making a similar
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allegation against the inner general. >> there are questions that need to be asked about the independence of that office. >> which office? >> the inspector general's office within the state department. it's gone back to e-mails. now the foundation, and then going back two years ago, a fishing expedition into a top staffer's maternity leave. that was ridiculous. the justice department laughed at it when the state department ig's office made a referral over there. rightfully so. these were partisan fishing expeditions. a number two official that worked for eight years for senator grassley. and it happens to be grassley that comes upon all the details of the reviews this office is conducting. three weeks ago you heard him attend a trump rally and say his goal was to defeat hillary clinton. he's using taxpayer dollars as chairman of the judiciary committee and it just so happens to have a top aide working in the same office. >> i just want to make sure you aren't making a similar accusation against the inspector general's office for the intelligence community. >> well, wolf, i think in that
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casing, you know, motives need not be partisan. what you have happening in the intelligence community with this dispute over e-mails and whether they were classified is you have very strong differing views and a bureaucratic turf battle where different agencies within the government had completely difference 180-degree opposite opinions about what's classified and what's not. you can have the inspector general for the intelligence community, mr. mccullough, fighting fiercely within that tusle to get his opinion upheld. and that's -- need not be a partisan motive. >> brian fallon is the press secretary for the hillary clinton campaign. thanks for joining us. we'll get some reaction to this. we're going to assess what's going on. right now joining us, our cnn legal analyst, sunny hostin, gloria borger. also national political reporter for real clear politics, rebecca berg and ryan lizza for the new yorker magazine.
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those are pretty serious accusations. >> absolutely. look, i don't know how to litigate who is right on this because i don't know the full story at the ig's office -- >> at the state department. >> but they are turning this into a partisan fight. they are attacking obama's ig at the state department trying to turn that office into a according to them, saying they are on a partisan witch hunt. the one thing that comes to find, hillary clinton -- as a candidate she's already at war with republicans in washington over these issues. boy, she's going to have a tough time as president getting an agenda through. >> that's the first time i heard such strong words from the hillary clinton campaign about the inspector general's operation at the state department. >> yeah, look. i think they are naming names now, and i think that this is a real indication of how serious the campaign thinks these
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charges could be if they get out of control. so what they are trying to do is hit them with a blunt instrument which is to say, you know what? this is political. there's a history here. you ought to look at this history, and then you ought to judge this and then they go on and on and say, look. hillary, you know, has done nothing wrong and she's being victimized by a partisan witch hunt. you have to see if that flies. but i think it's a really clear indication that they think these are serious charges, and they have to get rid of them pretty soon. >> sunny, you are a legal analyst. what wassior reaction when you heard those strong words from brian fallon. >> i agree with gloria. i was surprised, but i certainly think that the clinton campaign is trying to get ahead of this. they must think that this is serious. they must think that. and, remember, hillary clinton is a lawyer. and so i think they are trying
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to somehow blunt the edge of these accusations. i think it's very significant. >> and rebecca, the inspector general's office at the state department, the defense department, other agencies of the u.s. government, these are independent operations, not -- they are not subject to the secretary of state or the secretary of defense. they are brought in to be a watchdog. >> exactly. so this says to me that the clinton camp is trying to impugn the integrity of this independent office in an administration that is a democratic administration and call this a political witch hunt. that to me seems a little desperate and like the other commentators have also said, shows they are taking this very seriously. >> stand by. we're going to continue to watch what's going on. meanwhile, bernie sanders and hillary clinton are getting ready to face off just a little while from now. 2 1/2 hours or so from now in the pbs "newshour" debate in milwaukee. that will be simulcast. you'll see it here on cnn and your local pbs stations.
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live pictures from the university of wisconsin milwaukee campus where hillary clinton and bernie sanders are
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preparing to face off in a high stakes debate tonight. also donald trump at a campaign event he's about to have as well. this one in louisiana. trump's republican rivals stepping their attacks on the front-runner. sunlen serfaty is in south carolina. the battle for that state is getting very intense. >> that's right, it is, wolf. and while donald trump is in louisiana tonight, the attacks are flying against him here on the ground in south carolina. cnn has learn that ted cruz is set to unleash a brand-new ad tomorrow here in south carolina taking on trump in a brutal way. the ad will claim trump uses power for personal gain and ask south carolina voters point blank to imagine the damage trump could do as president. >> nine days actually until the big event. >> reporter: the republican field is now a six-man race and a southern slugfest is under way. >> you vote for trump. we win here. we're going to run the table.
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>> reporter: donald trump and ted cruz on a collision course. >> in the state of south carolina, i don't think people are interested in someone, a republican candidate who has pushed partial birth abortion, won't support marriage and supports big government bailouts. >> reporter: trump is taking to twitter to blast his rival for doing very sleazy and dishonest push polls on me. >> what kind of man talks from both sides of his mouth? >> reporter: his campaign says they are swapping out an attack ad for a sunnier spot. >> he wants to make america great. >> reporter: but cruz is releasing a new ad slamming trump's business dealings. >> trump bank rolled politicians to steam roll the little guy. a pattern of sleaze stretching back decked as. >> reporter: trump and cruz on the hunt for the same bounty, evangelicals. >> it's going to be such an unbelievable week and a half.
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i'm going to be with you almost all the time. >> reporter: trump is hammering away at a familiar rival, jeb bush. >> he's a low energy person. i said -- i said he's a stiff. >> reporter: and bush is punching back at trump as he spends his 63rd birthday on the campaign trail. >> i don't care how popular he is. he's wrong. and you better believe that if we elect him that we're not going to win. other than that, i'm having a great birthday. >> reporter: others in the field are bracing for the attacks. >> i'm not going to be a pin cushion. i don't take crap from anybody. >> reporter: john kasich is eyeing bush. >> i'm worried about jeb. it's all negative. how can you sell negative? >> the choice is incredibly important. >> reporter: marco rubio is debuting a more aggressive tone. launching an across the board attack calling out three of his rivals by name. >> donald trump has zero foreign
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policy experience. negotiating a hotel deal in another country is not foreign policy experience. jeb bush has no foreign policy experience, period. ted cruz has a little bit of foreign policy experience. >> reporter: meanwhile the rubio campaign is signaling they are digging in for the long haul. even if the fight leads all the way to a brokered convention. >> we're ready for that and ready for a long primary process and no one can predict this year. it's unpredictable. >> reporter: the cruz campaign is trying to frame the nominating fight as a two-man race with trump but the campaign's latest television ad in south carolina has a different target, senator rubio. >> maybe you should vote for more than just a pretty face next time. >> reporter: a sign the southern brawl is just getting started. >> you guys have room for one more? >> reporter: jeb bush will get a little help from his older brother here in south carolina next week. george w. bush is set to hit the campaign trail on monday in charleston with him.
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he is still very popular in this state with republicans. the bush campaign really hoping that will inject a little extra energy next week going into primary day. wolf? >> sunlen, thanks. sunlen is in south carolina. we're going to dig into all of this and more. sunny hostin is still with us and gloria berger, rebecca berg, ryan lizza. there's a lot to talk about. let's take a quick break. we'll be right back. ♪
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we're following the breaking political news. you are looking at live pictures. the final preparations for the high stakes debate between bernie sanders and hillary clinton in milwaukee. you see the pictures coming in. more than two hours from now. that's the pbs "newshour" democratic debate which you'll see here on cnn. we're also standing by for donald trump at a campaign rally about to begin in baton rouge, louisiana. trump is eyeing later contests. his rivals are battling it out in south carolina right now. gloria borger is with us among others. this is a new ted cruz ad just coming out. it will air in south carolina. really going after donald trump. listen to this. >> was all she had left. but it stood in donald trump's way and the limousine parking lot he wanted for his casino. to him, she was a nobody she
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trump schemed with atlantic city government to force her from her home using eminent domain. >> you are bullying these people because -- >> this is a government case, not donald trump. >> yes, it's donald trump. you and your cronies in government working together. >> on the power to private gain. >> i offered her a lot of min out of this. >> he doesn't have no heart. >> trump bank rolled politicians to steamroll the little guy. a pattern of sleaze stretching back decades. he still supports eminent domain. >> do you support taking private property for private use? >> i am for that. eminent domain is wonderful. yes, we have to use the power of eminent domain. >> trump uses power for personal gain. imagine the damage he could do as president. >> a pattern of sleaze. you heard those words, gloria. if trump is trying to take a positive high rode that's probably not going to last very long after he sees that ad. >> what you see cruz trying to do is get those values voters on
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his side. when you ask voters about who best shares their values, cruz does very well and trump not so well. and so what he's trying to do is say to those folks, don't vote for him because there is a character issue out here. there is a character flaw with donald trump. he cares about the powerful more than he cares about the average person. he'll let the government take away your property. that's what this question of eminent domain is all about. and those are important issues, not only to evangelical voters in south carolina but to very conservative republicans. and i think that's who cruz is going for with this ad. >> could cruz, rebecca, simply be trying to bait donald trump to go from this positive moment he's had and now go on the attack? >> that may be part of the calculation. trump is in a situation in south carolina where he leads the rest of the field by a pretty wide margin and he's starting to act
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like a front-runner. going pos tough. not attacking some of his rivals. it would behoove cruz to bring him back into the muff and have a real debate with him. that's probably part of the calculation. we also saw on the debate stage last week this argument worked when jeb bush use tuesday against donald trump. and jeb bush is not the best at landing punches. ted cruz is even better. this could be really good for him. >> cruz, before the last republican debate, ryan, he said donald trump didn't have the temperament to be commander in chief. with trump right next to him, he refused to. trump said he was showing respect for him. others said he didn't have the guts to go after trump standing right next to him. >> once you put out an ad like this, cruz cannot stand next to trump at the next debate and say, oh, i don't think donald trump's position on eminent domain is such a big deal. he now has to own this. >> if he's asked at the next
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republican debate saturday night, do you believe the man standing next to you has a pattern of sleaze, is he going to repete that? >> i would expect. you can't run an ad like this and then disown it during a debate. this ad does two things. it's an issue that conservatives really care about and cruz is the candidate of the more ideological faction in the republican party. and it goes to the heart of the trump campaign, which is that he'll take care of the little guy. instead this shows he tried to bulldoze the little guy. the question is, is it too little, too late? it's been months now and -- >> sunny, you know this issue, eminent domain. donald trump says he supports it. he says there wouldn't be bridges, hospitals, there wouldn't be a keystone pipeline unless there was eminent domain. >> it's really unbelievable. eminent domain has been around, that concept, for a very long time and it really is the government taking private property and paying some money for that private property, but for governmental use.
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and for ages, the little guy, people have been very, very upset about it, very concerned. it is certainly an issue. but, wolf, i've got to tell you. having followed this election season, i just can't imagine that trump supporters really care about that. they are somewhat rabid in their support of donald trump. he has been the offender in chief, the insulter in chief for so long, and no one seems to care. his supporters don't care. he has really mainstreamed the marginalized. those people are not concerned, i think, with eminent domain. i don't think they are concerned with political correctness. they are still going to be trump supporters. >> gloria, donald trump just tweeted moments ago that ted cruz, in his words, is the definition of sleaze. it didn't take very long. >> i guess the bromance is over. >> i think it is. >> what do you think?
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look, i think what cruz is trying to do here is to say to conservatives, it's something jeb bush has been trying to do for quite some time, is to say to conservatives, he's not like us. i'm the real conservative in this race. and also to sunny's point, i care about you, and he doesn't care about you. so what -- he's trying to differentiate himself here because he believes he is in the same lane for winning this south carolina primary as, you know, as trump is. by the way, marco rubio also going on the attack. this debate on saturday night among republicans is not going to be a pretty thing because in south carolina, politics gets pretty nasty, as you can see. and these are some of the nastiest ads because the stakes are so high. >> they certainly are. stand by. there's a lot going on. we're also following we're also following breaking news from one of the world's
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bloodiest war zones right now. a deal for a cease-fire in syria has been reached. we're getting details. stand by. seven. i just wish one of those people could have been mrs. johnson. [dog bark] trust me, we're dealing with a higher intelligence here. ♪ the all-new audi q7 is here. ♪ the access informationlows us to from anywhere. the microsoft cloud allows us to scale up. microsoft cloud changes our world dramatically. it wasn't too long ago it would take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome. now, we can do a hundred per day. with the microsoft cloud we don't have to build server rooms. we have instant scale. the microsoft cloud is helping us to re-build
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(whispers) now hide-and-seek time can also be catch-up-on-my-shows time. here i come! can't find you anywhere! don't settle for u-verse. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. we're following the breaking news out of syria right now. sources telling cnn that a cease-fire agreement has been reached, will take effect in a week. this comes as the humanitarian situation in the city of aleppo is reaching crisis levels right now. air strikes are reduced much of the area to rubble, but no one can seem to agree on who has responsibility for all the
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carnage. barbara starr is following the story for us. >> everybody else between moscow and washington, moscow making its claim. washington saying the russians are engaging in pure propaganda, a lie, and pure fabrication. homes in ruins. >> translator: the aircraft of the isis coalition were actively flying over the city. >> reporter: the u.s. doesn't bomb in aleppo because isis is not there. >> we do due diligence on this. categorically can say there were no air strikes in and around aleppo yesterday.
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>> reporter: there were attacks aimed at killing civilians and opponents of bashar al assad. some 320,000 people maybe hiding here from the bombs, hungry with no heat and no medical care. >> with the destruction of the two main hospitals in aleppo by russian regime attacks, more than 300,000 syrians are without access to life-saving assistance. >> reporter: in brussels, defense secretary ash carter focusing on the fight, pressing allies to do more. he said saudi arabia is stepping up air strikes in the last few weeks and will offer ground troops in an assisting role. >> first of all, there is training of both military forces and police forces. we need participants on the
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ground for training. >> reporter: as the russians continue their bombing, the u.s. says it is remaining focused on the fight against isis amid growing concern that isis could be plotting attacks in europe and even here in the united states. wolf? >> thanks very much. i want to get back to the breaking news out of syria. cease-fire agreement supposedly set to take effect in a week. we've been getting details. what are you learning specifically? >> we just heard from secretary kerry just moments ago. you have these marathon negotiations all day today in munich with world powers including the u.s. and russia, who has changed the battlefield, what's going on in syria right now. there's an agreement for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged cities of syria. we're talking about ten cities that the u.n. has identified. that will start taking place on saturday. world powers will start talking
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about a cease-fire that has been agreed to to be implemented in one week. now, wolf, a lot can happen in one week. you've seen the russians really starting to strengthen president assad's forces on the ground. they've done a large job in doing that. the concern is the opposition will be further damaged this week. we do have an agreement for much needed delivery of humanitarian aid. hopefully, they still have to work out a lot of specifics, but a cease-fire in one week. >> this is backed by the irania iranians and hezbollah and the russians against the opposition, the rebels, but isis is not part of this cease-fire. >> isis is not part of the cease-fire. el nusra is not part of this
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cease-fire. >> this is a limited cease-fire maybe between the syrian government and the rebels, but even only part of the rebels of el nusra, the al qaeda affiliate, if they're not part of it, who else -- are the kurds part of the cease-fire? >> the kurds are part of the cease-fire. some of the groups that are not considered terrorist groups but on the more extremist side, we don't know if they're going to sign up. u.s.-backed rebels will be signing up to this cease-fire. anything could happen. a miscalculation on any side that cease-fire could fall apart. delivery of humanitarian aid, we've been hearing about areas like aleppo where 400,000 people will be needing aid. >> with isis not involved, el nusra, that cease-fire probably won't last very long. thanks very much for that
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report. remember, bernie sanders and hillary clinton, they're getting ready to face off in just a little bit, two hours from now in the pbs news hour. you'll see it on cnn and your local pbs stations. that's tonight 9:00 p.m. eastern. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. next, the stakes could not be higher. hillary clinton and bernie sanders one on one, a debate you'll see right here on cnn tonight. plus, donald trump says he's going to positive. is he taking a page from john kasich's playbook? and when bill clinton attacks, could he actually hurt his wife's campaign? let's go "outfront." good evening, i'm erin burnett. outfront tonight, showdown in milwaukee. hillary clinton and bernie sanders about to face off in the pbs news hour presidential debate which will air right here

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